Our new MRI scanner is now up and running!

Our neuroimaging facilities at CINN now boast a brand new Siemens MAGNETOM Prisma 3T MRI Scanner.Watch our colleagues Dr. Christakou, Prof. Saddy and Prof Johnstone explain the importance of the upgrade and the potential for new cutting-edge research that the new scanner brings with it. Our lab is one of the first to start using the new machine, and we are already excited by the quality of the data we acquire. Needless to say that we are always on the lookout for new and exciting ideas to study bilingualism in the brain!



Second call for papers+ DEADLINE EXTENDED: Workshop on Bi-/Multilingualism and the Declining Brain

The Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM) at the University of Reading, UK, is now inviting submissions for a day workshop titled:

“Bi-/Multilingualism and the Declining Brain: Current evidence and future directions”.

This event will look into contemporary suggestions about the neuroprotective effects of bi-/multilingualism against brain decline in clinical populations. It will bring together early career and established researchers in the fields of second language acquisition and cognitive/clinical neuroscience, and will comprise a state-of-the-art snapshot in the field, as well as discuss potential future directions for research.

This free event will take place on the 21st of June 2017 as part of the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM) 2017 week, and is co-funded by the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM), the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN), and the European Second Language Association (EuroSLA).

For more details, including the call for papers, please visit the workshop’s webpage here

New publication at the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology

“MultiPic: A standardized set of 750 drawings with norms for six European languages”, with Jon Andoni Duñabeitia, Davide Crepaldi, Antje S. Meyer, Boris NewEva Smolka and Marc Brysbaert

You can access pre-prints of this paper, as well as the entire picture database and all the norms for free via this link.

Abstract

Numerous studies in psychology, cognitive neuroscience and psycholinguistics have used pictures of objects as stimulus materials. Currently, authors engaged in cross-linguistic work or wishing to run parallel studies at multiple sites where different languages are spoken must rely on rather small sets of black-and-white or colored line drawings. These sets are increasingly experienced as being too limited. Therefore, we constructed a new set of 750 colored pictures of concrete concepts. This set, MultiPic, constitutes a new valuable tool for cognitive scientists investigating language, visual perception, memory and/or attention in monolingual or multilingual populations. Importantly, the MultiPic databank has been normed in six different European languages (British English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Italian and German).

Call for papers: Workshop on Bi-/Multilingualism and the Declining Brain

The Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM) at the University of Reading, UK, is now inviting submissions for a day workshop titled:

“Bi-/Multilingualism and the Declining Brain: Current evidence and future directions”.

This event will look into contemporary suggestions about the neuroprotective effects of bi-/multilingualism against brain decline in clinical populations. It will bring together early career and established researchers in the fields of second language acquisition and cognitive/clinical neuroscience, and will comprise a state-of-the-art snapshot in the field, as well as discuss potential future directions for research.

This free event will take place on the 21st of June 2017 as part of the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM) 2017 week, and is co-funded by the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM), the Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN), and the European Second Language Association (EuroSLA).

For more details, including the call for papers, please visit the workshop’s webpage here

CeLM Public Seminar: Learning British Sign Language as a second language in adulthood

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CeLM Seminar Series

Learning British Sign Language as a second language in adulthood

 

by Chloë Marshall, University College London, Institute of Education

 

Date                     Wed 18th January 2017

Time                     15h00 – 16h30

Venue                  University of Reading, Whiteknights campus, Palmer-104

 

Many hearing adults choose to learn BSL as a second language for various reasons, including having a deaf child or wanting a career as an interpreter. However, almost nothing is known about how hearing adults learn to sign and whether learning a second language in a different modality from the first differs from learning a second spoken language. In this talk I present some initial research which investigates how adult learners of BSL use co-speech gesture as a substrate for transfer into sign, and what some of the challenges for learners of BSL are.

Announcement-Workshop with Noam Chomsky at the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading

 

Workshop title:

Generative Linguistics in the 21st Century: the Evidence and the Rhetoric

 

Keynote speaker:

Prof. Noam Chomsky (MIT, USA)

 

Plenary speakers

Prof. Adriana Belleti (University of Siena, Italy)

Prof. Hagit Borer (Queen Mary, London, UK)

Prof. Stephen Crain (Macquaire University, Australia)

Prof. Tanja Kupisch (University of Konstanz & UiT the Arctic University of Norway)

Prof. Terje Lohndal (NTNU & UiT the Arctic University of Norway)

Prof. Luigi Rizzi (University of Siena, Italy & University of Geneva, Switzerland)

Prof. Ian Roberts (Cambridge University, UK)

Prof. Ianthi Tsimpli (Cambridge University, UK)

Prof. Charles Yang (University of Pennsylvania, USA)

Moderators

Prof. Jason Rothman (University of Reading)

Prof. Doug Saddy (University of Reading)

 

Where: University of Reading

When: May 11th, 2017

Hosts: The School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences (PCLS)

The fields of linguistics, cognitive science and psychology were forever changed starting in the 1950s on the coattails of the cognitive revolution against behaviourism.  Chomsky’s (1959) review of Skinner’s Verbal Behaviour is one of the key turning points in this endeavour from which what would become the dominant theory of modern linguistics was born. Generative linguistics, often referred to as Universal Grammar (UG), has maintained for six decades now that humans are born endowed with domain-specific linguistic knowledge.  In other words, the human brain comes pre-equipped with some type of innately determined blueprint to the general structure of language. Exactly what is universal and domain-specific with respect to linguistic knowledge has been the matter of debate and changing proposals over the past 6 decades, however, the core tenet of the generative program remains: at least some parts of language are provided by a genetic endowment. Although there is no question that parts of language are/can be learned in the truest sense, that input quantities and qualities matter, that social environment and interaction bring much to bear, a careful consideration of the preponderance of all evidence still “leaves little hope that [much of the structure of] language can be learned by an organism initially uniformed as to its general character, Chomsky, 1965: 58”.  The purpose of this workshop is to present and consider the evidence that still points in this direction, while at the same time sifting through and seriously considering the rhetoric that in recent years has rejected the general tenets of generative linguistics.  In doing so, we will examine the role of generative linguistics at present and consider where it will be going as the 21st century unfolds.  The workshop features a keynote talk by Professor Chomsky and plenaries from 9 other renowned linguists, working on formal linguistic theory and its application to acquisition and processing in children and adult learners. The day culminates in a moderated panel discussion with all our invited speakers, where audience members can ask questions.

If you are interested in attending this workshop, please email pclsevents@reading.ac.uk to register your interest by Friday 20th January 2017. Further details about the workshop, including how to book will be announced soon.